US Jewish group J Street was paid by White House to promote Iran deal


J-Street, the American liberal Jewish group, was given more than half a million dollars to promote President Barack Obama’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran in the face of fierce opposition from Israel, it has emerged.

The group, which declares itself pro-Israel, was given the money by the Ploughshares Fund, the main organisation used by the White House’s to advocate the deal.

Last year, the United States, along with other world powers including the UK, agreed to lift nuclear-related sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Tehran terminating its nuclear weapons programme.

Israel was strongly against the deal, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that "it actually paves Iran's path to the bomb".

Groups representing American Jews also came out against the agreement.

According to Associated Press, the Ploughshare Fund’s 2015 annual report reveals several organisations were given thousands of dollars to back the deal, with J-Street – regarded as President Obama’s mouthpiece in the American Jewish community – receiving $576,500 (around £400,000), the largest amount paid out.

Other organisations which received money from the fund included the National Iranian American Council, which got more than $281,000.

Last August, Mr Obama met more than 20 leaders of US Jewish organisations in the White House, including J Street and Aipac, which was lobbying against the agreement.

The closed briefing, which lasted more than two hours, was off the record. According to reports from participants, the atmosphere was at times contentious, with Mr Obama refusing to retreat from the assessment he has made in recent weeks that the alternative to the Iran deal would likely be war.

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